Who can describe it in the language of mortals? The tongue of man falters, and the pen drops from the hand of the writer, as the mind is rapt in contemplation of the sublime and awful majesty of his coming to take vengeance on the ungodly and to reign as King of the whole earth.
He comes! The earth shakes, and the tall mountains tremble; the mighty deep rolls back to the north as in fear, and the rent skies glow like molten brass. He comes! The dead Saints burst forth from their tombs, and “those who are alive and remain” are “caught up” with them to meet him. The ungodly rush to hide themselves from his presence, and call upon the quivering rocks to cover them. He comes! with all the hosts of the righteous glorified. The breath of his lips strikes death to the wicked. His glory is a consuming fire. The proud and rebellious are as stubble; they are burned and “left neither root nor branch.’ He sweeps the earth “as with the besom of destruction.” He deluges the earth with the fiery floods of his wrath, and the filthiness and abominations of the world are consumed. Satan and his dark hosts are taken and bound, the prince of the power of the air has lost his dominion, for He whose right it is to reign has come, and “the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.”
“The people of the Saints of the Most High” will dwell on the earth, which shall bring forth her strength as in the days of her youth; they will build cities and plant gardens; those who have been faithful over a few things will be made rulers over many things; Eden will bloom, and the fruits and flowers of Paradise display their loveliness as at the first; Jesus shall reign “in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his ancients gloriously,” and all created things shall “praise the Lord.”
In answer to questions put by his apostles, Jesus spoke of certain events which were to be taken as signs of his advent. These things are now taking place: therefore we are living in the day of his coming.
The “Gospel of the kingdom,” restored to earth by revelation, is being preached as a special “witness” of his appearing; his people are gathering together; already the foundations of his kingdom are being laid in the mountains; Zion is being built up; a Temple is being reared for his reception; the spirit of gathering is brooding over the Jews, and wealthy and influential men among them are exerting themselves for the re-establishment of Jerusalem; barren parts of that land are beginning to blossom, and streams there long since dried up begin again to flow. The spirit of contention increases in every department of society, and the nations feel impelled by an invisible influence to prepare themselves for war. Horrible inventions are continually being brought out for the purpose of destroying the lives of men. Incapacity among law-makers and rulers is seen to a most humiliating degree. We hear of earthquakes, tornadoes, storms, and all kinds of appalling disasters; and though the earth still brings forth an abundance of her fruits, thousands pine for the want of natural nourishment. Crime increases at a fearful rate; the religion of the great mass of mankind is nothing but a mockery and a sham; the cords that hold together society are snapping and loosening, and all feel that “there’s something at hand!”
These are some of the tokens of his coming. “Behold the Bridegroom cometh. GO YE OUT TO MEET HIM!” The “wise virgins” are awaking; their lamps are trimmed; they walk not in the dark, but, with “a light to their feet and a lamp to their path,” they are hastening to the place appointed; for it is written, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion.”
The time is close at hand. The events we have been considering will follow each other in rapid succession. God will cut his work short in righteousness. The day and hour are not revealed; but “when the Lord hath built up Zion, then will he appear in his glory.”
O ye children of men, put away your sins, repent of your evil doings. The Spirit of the Lord has whispered in your hearts, and you have felt your iniquities, when alone in the silent night you have been sleepless. Heed not the gibe and the sneer of the corrupt and evil-minded, but come forth and be buried with Christ in baptism; receive the rich gift of the Spirit of God, and help, with the Saints, to prepare the kingdom for the Son of Man, that when he shall come you may be looking for his appearance, and that the “day of the Lord” may not come upon you unawares, “like a thief in the night.
This powerful image of the coming of the Lord seems to be in sync with a popular teaching about this being His Third appearance.
That Jesus returned in 72AD during the rape of Jerusalem.
Is there a link between the two end times views?